Club History

Beginnings

The Big D 56ers was founded by Betty Lombardi in 1990 as the Department 56 Cottage Collectors Club of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. The Constitution and Bylaws were ratified February 9, 1991. This was one of the first three Department 56 clubs in the country, the first in Texas, and the first club to join the National Council of Clubs. Meetings were held in the Community Room of the Richardson Square Mall. Within one year the membership was at 127. Many aspects of the club have their roots in the first years of the club like a holiday tour of homes, alternating between day business meetings and evening pot luck suppers, and the club newsletter The Village Tribune. Betty Lombardi was also an instrumental force in the organization of the National Council of 56 Clubs. In honor of her dedication, the Big D 56ers bestowed upon her the honor of "Lifetime Member". The club presidents have been Betty Lombardi, Joette Lyles, Don Dennis, Gary Baumann, Bill Berthier, Liz Reynolds, Andy Lepine, and Marylin Smith.

Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House of Dallas has been the center of interest for the Big D 56ers in several ways. Throughout the year the club has a variety of activities that result in funds which are donated to the Ronald McDonald House. Also, each year since 1995, club members go to the Ronald McDonald House prior to Christmas and set up a North Pole display for the enjoyment of the children and their families.

 

Texas Roundup

While returning from the first NCC convention at Williamsburg, Pat Conway wondered why Texas did not have its own Department 56 show. Sixteen months later, in 1995, Pat served as Event Chairperson of the first Texas Roundup. Since that first Roundup, the gathering has continued the combination of seminars, displays, vendors, and fun. It has continued as the Region 8 Roundup.